Two outsider candidates vie to become L.A. city attorney
March 26, 2016
The winner of the Aug. 7 filing deadline will have to secure the appointment of a city attorney — the top legal position in Los Angeles and perhaps for-hire lawyers are allowed to represent city Hall.
Two lawyers are vying for the job: L.A. attorney David H. Miller, 63, who was first elected to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench in 2010, and David F. Weldon, 41, the first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County prosecutor.
A third lawyer — Jonathan S. Green, 44, who served as assistant attorney general for civil rights before his election to the Los Angeles Tax Appeals Board — is running for a seat on the city council. He filed his papers for that office on March 12.
To win the job, the candidate with the most votes at the Aug. 7 filing deadline would have to secure the nomination of four of the nine members of the City Council — the mayor, the speaker, the second-most-powerful member and the fifth-most-powerful member, the council’s highest-ranking elected official. (The mayor’s role in choosing the next council member has been replaced by a council-appointed committee, according to the city charter.)
In the case of a tie, the candidate with the most votes would be eliminated and replaced by the one with the next highest vote total.
The position of city attorney also is held by attorneys, but only when they are appointed by city council members or the mayor. The mayor himself appointed former Assistant City Attorneys Joseph D. Graff and Robert Vane as assistant city attorneys.
So far, the candidates are running neck and neck in the race but with relatively different resumes. They are both lawyers and have practiced law since they were in college, according to the candidates’ official campaign websites.
Weldon graduated from Duke University and attended law school at the University of California at Berkeley before going on to practice civil litigation, labor and employment law with high-profile attorneys, including Johnnie L. Williams and Peter D. Keisler. He has also held legal positions with the ACLU and the Legal Aid Foundation, according to the sites.
Weldon and Miller both served as deputy